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Protection & Covenant



This was written in April 2008.

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It is a Jewish practice to put mezzuzahs up on every doorpost as a reminder that Adonnai watches over us and keeps us. In the Christian world, the equivalent would be to anoint or pray over something or spiritually cleanse a house or property. I recently learned a very tangible lesson regarding this.


Last spring we began having drain issues. The problem would come and go, and we thought we had it licked until last August when I found literal inches of standing water in the basement. This was dirty wash water, so I wasn't too freaked out. However, the next flood mere hours later was sewage. Raw sewage. Then I freaked. The smell permeated EVERYTHING. The house smelled not only of sewage but also of the rank, fetid, stale air of summertime in an old house.


After weeks of this smell, hundreds of dollars in home drain augers and professional plumber consultation, my heart sank as I realized that it could cost us potentially well over $10,000 dollars to re-dig our sewer drain. Thankfully, the neighbor man needed to do sewer hookups for new apartments as well, so we were able to split the cost of a backhoe delivery and they just billed us straight labor and parts. With a grateful heart, I paid the bill that was thousands of dollars rather than TENS of thousands.


Since then, our yard has been a pile of dirt. Literally. The workmen had to rip up a portion of the driveway, back yard sidewalk, 80% of the front yard and 70% of the back yard. Since then, construction crews and neighbors have been crossing our yards – both back and front – to save from walking around the properties, since our house is between them. I found this irking me because a person's yard is supposed to be private, even when there isn't a fence…. also at the same time, ironically, I couldn't place my finger on why my soul was not at rest.


After talking with a wise friend, she reminded me we have a spiritual connection to Hashem's (G-d's) creation - that anytime ground was disturbed, it usually had a ripple effect, and she wasn't talking about a torn up lawn or missing flowers. She was talking about a covenant – a binding agreement between two parties, usually G-d and humans. I remembered classic examples – Abraham and Isaac, Moshe and Aaron, David and Jonathan . . . and particularly when the nation of Israel took land, they had the Cohanim (high priests) come in and do an offering that consecrated the space.


I remembered when we were newly married, my husband and I walked around our property and prayed, prayed over our home, and put up our mezzuzas as a sign of commitment to Hashem and His Presence and Protection. I realized that through all the construction, not only had I taken down our outdoor mezuzahs (we repaired the doors), but that with the ground disturbance, I had a feeling of unrest and invasion.


So, I took an afternoon, set aside a couple of hours, and prayed. I didn't just pray, I PRAYED. When I pray, it's not like a trite mealtime grace, it's more a cross between the fervor of a Pentecostal woman, yet with the grace and beauty of Jewish tradition. I took time, prayed some Tehillim (Psalms) and was receptive to Hashem and the Ruach ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit). After prayer, I felt strongly that I was to anoint not only the house, but also the land. Yes, the land.


All of our land had been disturbed - yes, every bit, on each side, with the exception of a small tree line in the back corner. I went outside, walked the perimeter, prayed, and I felt strongly that I was to do as the priests did and pour out oil into the ground as a form of dedication and sacrifice to Adonnai. I wasn't to grab cheap salad oil either – I was to use anointing oil – the expensive, heavily scented, and consecrated anointing oil.


I hesitated for only a fraction of a moment, but poured four fluid ounces of anointing oil into a small zippie, trimmed off the corner and began to walk and pray. I drizzled that oil all around our lot – down the property lines, across the driveway, even behind the garage and places I couldn't walk, with a fling of the oil bag, every part of our ground had oil on it.


As I did so, I felt something begin to happen. I felt as if I was taking back something that had been lost. I felt peace, joy, and a sense of rest come. I walked back into the house and was taking off my coat. I watched as some work crews came, the very ones who had been careless about walking across our back yard inspite of requests to be respectful and walk around.


I observed the one who didn't care skid to a halt at the edge of our property line as if he had hit a brick wall and try to cut through our back yard. He froze for a few seconds, did it again, and on the third time, shrugged his shoulders, headed back to his truck and ended up walking around using the sidewalks, to the property on our other side. I smiled and blinked, and in that moment, in my spirit, I saw a protecting angel, larger than our house, standing, picking his sword out of the ground where the workman had just stood, with a huge smile on his face.


Now you might think I'm crazy, and there are ways in which I will admit I am, but this is not one of them. Angels are real - in many forms.


As I sat and basked in the Presence, I realized that Adonnai loves us and protects us. All we have to do is ask for guidance and protection and we will receive it, for it is His pleasure to look after His children.


Later that night, when my husband came home, I noticed that when he drove up, he let out a huge sigh, and was no longer as irritated as he had been. He happily put up our mezzuzahs and got a good night's sleep. So did I, for that matter.


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